On Mother’s Day
(I shared the following today during our worship gathering, and mentioned that I would link to another blog post. I pray that everyone who reads this — mothers or not, women and men — are able to apply the truth of the Gospel to where God has placed you.)
Today is an opportune time for us to honor how God has used our mothers in many of our lives. In the law given to Moses on Sinai, we hear God’s desire for both attitude and action toward our parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) The wisdom book of Proverbs tells us not to despise our mother and let her who gave birth to us rejoice. We can all give praise to God that our through our mothers we were brought into the world! There is no “perfect mom” (maybe this is the wrong day to bring that up…or maybe it’s the best day to be reminded of God’s grace in that!) and many of us have moms in different places on the spectrum…maybe some of you were never close to your mom or never met her expectations.
As a way of honoring our mothers as individuals, both kids and adults, I encourage you to thank your mothers for what they mean to you and how God has used them in your life. Hallmark doesn’t need our money to do that! As a church though, I feel today that our responsibility is broader. Although many churches tend to single out on this day those whom God has made mothers, we feel led to also include those women whom holidays like this often overlook: those who are not mothers. Days like today can bring a great deal of pain to those who are still single, those who have lost children, experience infertility, or are otherwise childless. It provides a great opportunity for us to recognize this range of women, all of whom are represented in this room and apply the Gospel to the unique struggles. I hope to cover this more next week as we study Genesis 16 and the barrenness of Sarai.
A recent blog post by Wendy Alsup this week brings the truth of the Gospel to this topic in a really helpful way. To see the entire post go here: For Moms, Former Moms, and Wannabe Moms. Here is the excerpt I read:
Mother’s Day is a tricky holiday. Like any holiday, it is sweet for some and bitter for others. For some, it’s both… How do you honor someone who has something good that you want too? How do you applaud the sacrifices of one without minimizing the suffering of the other? I don’t know exactly, but I do think there is an overarching principle that is helpful. Motherhood is not the greatest good for the Christian woman. Whether you are a mom or not, don’t get caught up in sentimentalism that sets it up as some saintly role. The greatest good is being conformed to the image of Christ. Now, motherhood is certainly one of God’s primary tools in his arsenal for this purpose for women. But it is not the end itself. Being a mom doesn’t make you saintly. Believe me. Being a mom exposes all the ways you are a sinner, not a saint. Not being a mom and wanting to be one does too…God uses both the presence and the absence of children in the lives of his daughters as a primary tool of conforming us to Christ.
So today, I encourage you to obey God in honoring your mom, and to recognize that whatever your relationship to motherhood, that God’s grace through the work of Christ is sufficient for where you are today. May we all see and know that personally.